Heart Health awareness is the focus of easy tips for reducing stress, fat and heart attack throughout March. For those following the recommendations from last week, you should already be feeling more energetic in the morning. How can you feel even better throughout the day?
Tip No. 2 – Breathe. Do not underestimate the power of deep breathing. Stress robs the body of sufficient oxygen supply and causes further irritability and tension. The less oxygen you have, the more stress you feel which in turns launches a vicious cycle of sugar cravings and fat storage.
Oxygen is everything and we have less of it than our ancestors. Besides the health benefits of moving more in Tip No. 1, early man had the added advantage of breathing air with 15% more oxygen than we breathe today. In most cities across America, the oxygen content of air has dropped to 20% from 35%. In 2002, Greenville County’s air quality ranked among the dirtiest/worst of 20% of all counties in the country. While the average human can last days without food or water, life is possible for only a few minutes without oxygen. In May of 2008, Magician David Blaine, broke the World’s Record for holding the breath on live television. The record-breaking time was a mere 17 minutes, 4 seconds. At best, most people can hold their breath for a minute or two (equivalent to holding 900-1800 breaths) before losing consciousness. On any given day, the average person will draw 21,600 breaths. For optimal brain and heart function, make each breath count.
Start your morning with an Ayurvedic breathing technique known as “Bellows Breath.” To learn this simple exercise, click on the video accompanying this article. One-minute is all it will take to achieve a soothing meditative state. Do these exercises 5-10 times throughout the day to de-stress and energize the brain. Beginners may feel light-headed at first. Keep breathing! Stay tuned for Tip #3.